SOM Footwear wants to remind you there is more to February’s celebration of love than the boxes of chocolate and candy hearts. February is Heart Disease Awareness month and is dedicated to helping the American Heart Association bring awareness to heart disease. Heart disease can happen at any age and is the leading killer among both men and women. Nearly half of all Americans have at least one of the top risk factors that contribute to heart disease. Those top risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking. You can do a lot to protect your heart, and it involves being conscious of your lifestyle choices, eating habits and physical activity.
You are in control of your body: you’re the boss! What you put into your body, you will get out of it. For instance, if you're depriving your body of the correct fuel it needs, chances are it’s not going to perform correctly. You can take control and start making healthier eating choices now, which will become habits. It's as simple as creating your plate so that it contains more fruits and veggies than anything else. Try to avoid salt and sodium whenever possible, or try to reduce the amount. Also stay away from trans-fat, saturated fat and added sugars; these, along with sodium, increase blood pressure which increases the risk for heart disease. If you are already dealing with high blood pressure or high cholesterol it is important to continue to work with your doctor on managing these correctly to keep you in a healthy range.
Staying active is vital in heart health. Immediately after being active you can feel the benefits. It is recommended by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services that you get 150 minutes a week of physical activity. You can break this time into intervals that best suit you and your schedule. A great way to start is by reducing the time you sit without taking a break, as sitting for long periods increases your risk for heart disease. Staying active will also help you to maintain a healthy weight - being overweight or obese contributes to heart disease as well. Get with your doctor about what a healthy weight is for you. Carrying just an extra 10lbs creates an additional 30lbs of force on your knees, causing aches, pains and stress. Stress is also a contributor to heart disease as it can result in high blood pressure.
Heart and Feet Connection
Your feet can tell you a lot about your heart and, in order to keep your heart healthy, you need to keep your feet healthy. The heart pumps blood around your body, transporting oxygen and nutrients from your head to your toes. When this is not happening correctly you can start to develop foot problems like swelling or pain, and this is your body sending you a warning! It’s so important to eat right and exercise every day to keep your heart healthy and strong. Taking a walk of 3000 to 4000 steps everyday can help to reduce your chances of heart disease. The feet are the furthest from the heart, yet they can tell you a whole lot about the cardiovascular system.
Having close positive relationships can benefit your heart’s health. Research has shown that we are more successful at meeting our goals when we have the support and motivation from others. The #OurHearts movement is to help encourage people to be heart healthy together. Let’s join forces and promote healthier lifestyles!
Visit the American Heart Association for more helpful information and ways you can help!